Supreme Court on Friday directed former union minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram to appear before CBI on August 23. The apex court was hearing the Centre’s plea against the stay ordered by the Madras High Court on the lookout notice against Karti and others in the alleged corruption case. The Supreme Court had on August 14 stayed the Madras HC order.
News agency ANI reported that Karti has said he would appear on a certain condition. “Not afraid of appearing, but I need protection,” he reportedly told the top court. He has been granted permission by the Supreme Court to be accompanied by an advocate during questioning at CBI headquarters, reported PTI. The accompanying advocate shall not be in room where questioning is to take place, the court ordered.
Following the investigation, CBI and Karti Chidambaram are required to submit their respective reports before the on August 28, the next date of hearing.
On August 10, Madras High Court had stayed the ‘look out circulars’ issued by the Centre against Karti and four others holding they were prima facie “unwarranted”. The case in question involves alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds when Chidambaram was the finance minister in 2007.
CBI has alleged that Karti received money from INX Media for using his influence to manipulate a tax probe against it. The FIR dated May 15 was followed by searches at the residences and offices of Karti and his friends on May 16. Besides Karti, his associates C B N Reddy, Ravi Viswanathan, Mohanan Rajesh and S Bhaskararaman are also involved in the case.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court also ordered that Karti could not leave the country without joining the probe. “Our only concern is you going abroad without participating in investigations,” a bench of Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said. The bench rejected counsel Gopal Subramanium’s submission that Karti would furnish an undertaking that he would not leave the country.
“I had experiences in my court. We allowed some people to go abroad and they never came back,” the CJI said. “You must appear before the investigating agency,” the bench told Karti on Monday and asked him to suggest a date.